INTERPOL Reports Warns of Rising Cyberattacks even after COVID Period

In this pandemic, Online scams and phishing leads the pack as over 59% respondents to INTERPOL's global cybercrime survey reported.

By · Aug 5, 2020 . 8min read

Crypto scams in the world

A recent INTERPOL report shows a rising trend in cyberattacks suggesting it may continue even after COVID period as organizations and businesses rapidly deploy remote systems and networks to support staff working from home.

The report made sure to give a statistical analysis of the rise of the different growing cybercrimes. Online scams and phishing leads the pack as over 59% respondents to INTERPOL’s global cybercrime survey reported significant use of COVID-19 themes for phishing and online fraud since the outbreak. Although the recent Twitter Hack wasn’t exactly COVID related, the domain posted by the hackers read something like “Crypto For Health”. Hackers lured unsuspecting victims parting away with their bitcoins.

Asides online scams and phishing, INTERPOL report shows cyberattacks during COVID take on other different means.

Ransomware attacks are also on the rise according to the INTERPOL report. Hackers are targetting critical infrastructure and healthcare institutions, due to the potential for high impact and financial benefit. As typical of ransomware attacks, the perpetrators ask for Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies from victims. In fact, Garmin, a notable wearable device maker, shut down its call centres and connected services due to WastedLocker ransomware attack.

Furthermore, Data Harvesting Malware like Remote Access Trojan, info stealers, spyware and banking Trojans is equally on the rise. Due to people’s interest in COVID -19, cybercriminals use this avenue to lure victims. Criminals infiltrate systems to compromise networks, steal data, divert money and build botnets which becomes even more significant problems to handle.

Although Malicious Domains are not new, cybercriminals are now registering domain names containing keywords, such as “coronavirus” or “COVID”. This threat increased substantially within the first to second quarters of 2020. According to reports, malicious malware and phishing registrations increased by 569 per cent from February to March 2020. To add to the threats, other high-risk listings grew by 788 per cent within this period also.

Lastly, scammers are also using misinformation and fake news as part of their tactics to defraud people. However, this is not as severe as others as it ranks last with 14%.

INTERPOL Report showing increasing cyber attacks with Phishing/Scam/Fraud leading with 59%

INTERPOL suggests cyberattacks will likely increase

From the report, Online Phishing and Malware attacks are the most prevalent. Subsequently, with people increasingly working from home and most likely adopting online payment systems, hackers may keep targeting them. Cryptocurrencies afford users an easy alternative for online payments. However, malicious hackers equally use this tool for payments in the Darknet. Even though crypto tracers like Chainalysis can still decipher Bitcoin payments, hackers still use mixers to evade their radars.

Completely anonymous crypto-like Monero even present bigger opportunities for these hackers. A notable coalition like No More Ransom already has more than 4.2 million from 188 countries and still growing. It’s a non-profit body that helps any ransomware victim decrypt and unlock their files for free with the suite of tools they offer. You may need to visit their site just in case.

As the report states, it is highly probable that there will be another spike in phishing related to these medical products when a COVID-19 vaccination is available. Organizations should prepare well ahead to arm themselves with the necessary tools. They must educate and even possibly employ decentralized web storage like IPFS, which can withstand hackers tendencies and a few other threats.

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